Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Thai Red Lentil Coconut Curry

9/25/12  Boulder, CO

   I've worked in the restaurant industry for several years and, generally speaking, chef's really don't like vegans.  They don't even like vegetarians.  They often don't really care whether your soup has chicken broth, or even think of that as being non-vegetarian.  Plus they cook your veggie burger on the same grill as the meat, and why should they care about that?  There is no point asking them to.  If you have an allergy, they don't want to be responsible for  killing you, but they still don't like you.  They want to make what they like, the way they know how, and their passion dies when they are forced to make substitutions or leave out key ingredients.  They want you to like it how they like it.     Sorry to break this to you, but the servers don't like you either.  They don't want to take the extra time to make note of all your elaborate preferences.  They want their job to go as smooth as possible, without you throwing a stick in the spokes.  I don't eat out much at all, but if I do, I dread asking them to cater to my needs.  

  I love authentic Indain and Thai food.  I know going out to eat at ethnic restaurants, specifically Indian and Thai will usually leave me with many vegan options.  But Indian food, though often plant based,  loves to contain yogurt and clarified butter.  Thai food loves to sneak fish sauce in everything.  I don't really know what that is exactly, but I know I really don't want to consume it.  Again I really like to know what I'm eating.  That leaves me my favorite option, to make my own ethnic foods at home.  Which I am very happy to do!  

  This recipe has very similar flavor to a red Thai curry, without that pesky fish sauce!

Thai Red Lentil Coconut Curry, Vegan, Gluten Free
Thai Red Lentil Coconut Curry

Thai Red Lentil Coconut Curry

Vegan, Gluten Free

1/2 a yellow onion, diced
1tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, but if you like spicy...do it!)
1 tsp garam masala 
1/2 tsp of the following spices:  ground coriander, celery seed, cumin, ginger, turmeric, fenugreek seed, cardamom seeds, salt*
1 c. red lentils
2 yukon gold potatoes, peeled & cubed
3 c. water
2 tbsp soy sauce or liquid aminos
1 c. chickpeas, cooked
1 c. kidney beans, cooked
1 13oz can coconut milk
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1.5 c. baby spinach
2 tbsp sugar
3 curry leaves (optional)
2 c. cooked rice, white or brown
1/4 c. basil leaves

*Spices are so important in my recipes.  Obviously it would be very pricey to purchase a bottle of all these spices, and wasteful since you probably won't use a whole bottle of some of them in a lifetime. And you sure can't fit all those bottles in an RV pantry.  I recommend finding a natural grocer such as a Whole Foods or health food store that carries bulk spices, sold by weight.  This way, you can buy just a 1/2 tsp of  each spice (or exactly how much you want) for a few cents per oz.  Your bring it home in a little plastic bag, and you are not breaking the bank or paying for wasteful packaging.  It is a great thing!  Try it!

-Heat sauce pot to med/high heat.  Add coconut oil.  Add onion to oil and let cook for 5 min, stirring occasionally.
- Add water, soy sauce, potatoes, curry leaves, spices, sugar, and lentils.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to med/low and simmer about 15 min.
-Add coconut milk, and beans.  Remove curry leaves.
Red lentils do not hold their shape.  They turn yellow and break down to a split pea soup consistency.  When this happens, stir in rice, tomatoes, spinach, and basil.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Like me on Facebook!

No comments:

Post a Comment